Greater Green Bay Area, Wisconsin
Green Bay, a three-time 100 Best winner, has multiple teams addressing the needs of young people. These teams are pulled together under one umbrella, Partners in Education (PIE), to provide a positive, learning environment where young people grow and develop.
The Mayor's Neighborhood Resource Council empowers local neighborhoods to address issues and provide activities for their neighborhood dedicating approximately 9 percent of the budget to youth-related programming. The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, which includes the Mayor, County Executive and community leaders, monitors and supports the work of PIE.
The Partners in Progress Conference organized by the Bay Area Community Council was a citizens "think tank" of volunteers representing business, education, community, and government that sparked the beginning of numerous partnerships to address youth issues. PIE was founded as a direct outcome of the Conference. Eighteen years later, PIE is active and growing, addressing multiple challenges facing youth. The PIE Attendance Action Plan involves diverse community stakeholders who promote school attendance; encourage families to take non-school day vacations; ask businesses to request attendance records in their hiring processes, and more.
Community leaders have developed a bold agenda for creating a community-wide environment to raise the healthiest kids in America. The Brown County United Way’s Community Partnership for Children initiative is building a public/private partnership to reach every newborn in the area through a hospital “Welcome Baby” visit and provides comprehensive referrals and services to youth up to age 5. More than $1.3 million dollars have been pledged thus far to support targeted early intervention programming. The Child Advocacy Center was built for families subject to abuse and in recovery from abusive situations, providing a nurturing, safe and supportive environment for at-risk youth. Local business organizations, including UnitedHealthcare, Bellin Hospital and the Packers Fit Kids Program have partnered with schools and families to provide health-risk assessments, including education for physical, nutritional and social aspects of good health, and playground equipment for physical activities.
PIE created a growth chart indicating development goals for a community school readiness campaign marketed through businesses and community sites. Collaborative groups work with families of newborns to link to needed resources and help in brain development during the early learning stages of children. PIE also developed descriptive levels of development by grade 8, grade 12, and grades 13-16 to help educators incorporate the skills, knowledge, and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st Century. To excite and engage students, education is taken outside of the four walls of the classroom whenever possible, linking community resources to educators and students. One example is Formula High School, where students have the ability to design race cars. Post-secondary institutions are close partners with K-12 schools; advanced placement courses are offered to high school students through University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and St. Norbert College, offering high school students a chance to experience a college campus while completing high school coursework.